Blue Sky July by Nia Wyn
I was prepared to hate this book, but I actually really love it. Blue Sky July is Nia Wyn’s memoir of dealing with her son’s cerebral palsy during his first seven years of life. She shares her shock, her grief, and above all her love for her son. Her determination to do everything she can for him is a natural outgrowth of these emotions; it’s her way of coping. Wyn’s voice is unique and poignant. I read the book expecting the worst to happen every time I turned the page, and so was able to share Wyn’s elation and appreciation for “small” victories. A wonderful story beautifully crafted.
Here are a couple of excerpts:
The sky is blue this Friday afternoon. My tree of blessings is littered with small white cards and before I know it the roses will be back in bloom.
Children are gods when they arrive in our arms; we set our hearts by them.
And, from near the middle:
His walking frame is red and made of iron, with belts and buckles at the chest and hip, and two ready-made shoes that dangle at the end of two jointed bars of steel, skillfully prompting his step.
. . . .
He looked like a Renaissance prince tiptoeing among [the children] under the trees, like the uncommon butterfly, released.
Finally, from the beginning:
It’s the strangest time –a birth– for life to start falling apart.
Just like that!
The very next moment.
but it can happen.
And it happens to us.
It’s so easy to slip between worlds, silver to black. There’s nothing in-between. Sometimes it’s just a trip down the corridor between heaven and hell.
As I read, I found myself reflecting on my own family’s health history this past year. It’s been full of plenty of scares and shocks, but we’ve come through it somehow. I can relate to Wyn’s sense of wrongness and sorrow, followed by her need to do something to make it all better. At one point, she mentions something about watching other children in the park, how they can run and play, and how we are surrounded by miracles like that everyday and we don’t even see them. I love that Wyn is able to show me the miracles she sees. She’s right; there is no such thing as a small life or a small miracle. I closed this book feeling profoundly moved and blessed.